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News Release
2/29/2012
CONTACT Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Blue Shield has $3.1 billion in excess surplus, 1400% more than the state requires, yet still plans to raise rates up to 14.8% for 320,000 California patients on March 1st. Repeated rate hikes in the face of massive company surpluses at the same time that inflation slows show the need for a ballot initiative to prevent...
Video
2/9/2012
Patients facing 15% rate hikes March 1st took their complaints to Blue Shield yesterday, and signed a ballot petition outside the insurer's San Francisco headquarters to make health insurance companies publicly justify rates before they take effect.  Blue Shield is sitting on $3.1 billion in excess surplus - 1400% the minimum surplus...
Blog Post
2/7/2012
By Jamie Court
Shouldn't the CEOs of health insurance companies like Blue Shield have to sign under penalty of perjury that their rate hikes are justified? If the first online signature gathering for a ballot petition is successful, Californians will vote on that proposition in November, and are almost sure to approve. One year ago I stood at the Blue...
Blog Post
12/2/2011
By Jerry Flanagan
When will health insurers get the message?  They can't raise our rates and cut our benefits and expect to get away with it! Drop us an email and help teach the insurance companies a lesson. Consumer Watchdog is now investigating recent rate increases on eight different health insurance plans sold by Blue Shield in California....
Blog Post
10/13/2011
By Doug Heller
It is a masterful spin by the self-described not-for-profit Blue Shield of California to announce that it is returning all but two percent of its profits to its customers, as though this were some act of humble generosity.  It’s a little like a supermarket announcing that from now on it’s going to give back (almost) all of your...
News Release
7/20/2011
CONTACT Jerry Flanagan
In a letter this week, Consumer Watchdog called on Governor Brown to replace Schwarzenegger-era regulators at the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) after DMHC officials misrepresented the details of an autism settlement with Blue Shield at a legislative hearing last week, and then signed a similar settlement with Blue Cross. Ten of eleven...
Legal Update
7/14/2011
By Jerry Flanagan
What's worse than an insurance company that denies a child access to medically necessary treatments for autism?  A complicit regulator that's too cozy with the very insurers that they are charged to oversee. On Wednesday, Governor Brown's Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) tried to convince Senate President Darrell...
Blog Post
6/8/2011
By Jamie Court
Blue Shield's CEO Bruce Bodaken tried to quell recent outrage over his company's proposed premium hikes and his $4.6 million pay day by announcing a 2% profit cap on the op-ed page of San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday. The move was designed to convince Sacramento not to approve tough health insurnace premium regulation. This morning we...
News Release
4/27/2011
CONTACT Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Insurance giant Wellpoint, parent company of California's Anthem Blue Cross, announced today that its first quarter profits rose 6% this year to nearly $1 billion for the first three months of 2011. At the same time, consumer advocates are pressing for reforms that would limit health insurance rate increases in the...
Blog Post
3/30/2011
By Jamie Court
We've had a big first quarter at Consumer Watchdog. We beat Google in court last week when the judge agreed with our strong anti-trust arguments and prevented Google from gaining a monopoly over digitized books online. The previous week, we pressured Blue Shield into canceling its outrageous rate hikes, which totaled as much as 86% for...